IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping Jain Irrigation Systems Limited in India set up Sustainable Agro-Commercial Finance Limited, a non-banking finance company, that will provide loans to Indian small-scale farmers to help them install micro-irrigation systems and improve productivity. The project is expected to benefit more than 600,000 farmers with limited access to credit, in the next five years.
Sustainable Agro-Commercial Finance Ltd
IFC will invest $2.7 million (equivalent to Rs 12 Crore ) in equity in Sustainable Agro-Commercial Finance, a subsidiary of Jain Irrigation Systems. Severe water scarcity hampers the growth of the agriculture sector in India. Micro- and drip-irrigation systems help reduce water consumption in agriculture, but are capital intensive. With improved access to credit, more farmers will be able to install micro-irrigation systems, which will help increase energy and water efficiency.
“IFC’s support will help promote inclusive growth in the agriculture sector and lead to increased growth for the small farmer in India,” said Anil Jain, Managing Director, Jain Irrigation Systems Limited and Director, Sustainable Agro-Commercial Finance.
The project will also help promote water harvesting and storage solutions for smaller farmers.
“Efficient use of water in agriculture can play a key role in addressing India’s water scarcity challenges. By supporting this project, IFC will help improve farmers’ ability to access the needed financing to install micro-irrigation systems, conserve water, and potentially, increase agricultural productivity,” said Anita George, IFC Infrastructure Director for South Asia.
Jain Irrigation, winner of IFC’s 2010 Client Leadership Award, is one of India’s largest integrated agribusiness players with manufacturing operations in micro-irrigation systems, plastic pipes and sheets, dehydrated onions, and processed fruits.